Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

Why should I use ADR for my Utah divorce?

Utah judges are not always the best people to determine the outcome of a case, let alone a divorce. In many instances, those who are seeking to get out of a marriage or hammer out a custody arrangement know far better the best outcome for all involved. Alternative Dispute Resolution (or ADR) is a way courts allow individuals to work out their problems between themselves in the hopes that a judge is not needed to make a determination.

ADR is a broader term for many different types of resolution processes, the more popular types being mediation and arbitration. Overall ADR is considered a faster, less expensive and more effective way of solving a dispute, when compared to litigation. While not mandatory in many cases, mediation is required in a divorce before the case can move forward.

Usually, mediation is a collaborative meeting in which a neutral third party, generally a trained mediator that helps people resolve their differences and come to an agreement. Many people prefer mediation as it allows the parties to come up with their own solutions to the issues in a dispute. By working through the issues together, parties feel better about the outcome and are less likely to leave the court with hurt feelings over the outcome. The process also helps promote team building and problem solving, a benefit, especially for couples with children.

Unlike litigation, ADR methods rely more on the collaboration of the parties, rather than the adversarial process. Although mediation can be waived for good cause, many cases can benefit from the process.

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